Facebook is introducing three new interactive ad units to its mobile News Feed -- video polls and playable ads (usually used for game trials), followed by a beta test of augmented reality ads in the fall. Facebook reports that a recent survey found that 63% of online users have engaged with a branded AR experience and WeMakeUp's AR ads that enabled consumers to virtually try on lipsticks resulted in a 38% increase in purchases.
The viral "Storm Area 51" event may have been officially cancelled but Arby's and Bud Light are continuing their support of related celebrations, with the former's sandwich truck headed to the Alien Research Center in Hiko, Nev., for a "Storm Area 51 Basecamp" event, where it will serve products such as the E.T. Slider. Bud Light is sponsoring a Las Vegas "Area 51 Celebration," has created alien-themed cans for sale in Nevada, Arizona and California and unveiled a beer fridge that can only be opened by extraterrestrials.
Subway, with Jack Morton Worldwide and Ruder Finn, has teamed with Feeding America to launch "Ugly Veggie Rescue," which is encouraging consumers to adopt less than perfect vegetables with their donations going to food banks. A spot featuring TV celebrity Nick Lachey directs viewers to a dedicated site and introduces "ugly" produce looking for adoption, such as Lenny the lettuce, who was rejected at a farmer's market when "people took one look at his big, goofy smile and kept on walking."
Reddit is projected to double its US ad revenue from $100 million in 2019 to $200 million in 2021, which Chief Operating Officer Jen Wong attributes to cleaning up brand safety issues and bolstering its ad offerings. In this Ad Age podcast, Wong discusses the power of community, how its users welcome brands and its growing ad ecosystem, noting Reddit "is offering new inventory, unduplicated reach, an environment that has high trust and authenticity. ... That's why I think our business is doubling."
Nielsen has expanded its Social Content Ratings with the ability to measure the social engagement impact show talent has when promoting TV programming on platforms, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, which can prove to be insightful for brands and programmers. During the 2018 TV season, Nielsen says more than 164,000 pieces of social content were posted by more than 6,000 "talent accounts," which led to more than 170 million engagements.
Comcast has added the sports-oriented digital platform DAZN to the cable company's broadband-based Xfinity Flex, with plans to bring the $20-a-month service to its Xfinity X1 platform in the fall. The agreement, DAZN's first with a leading US cable provider, is part of Comcast's strategy of integrating web-based content into its own services.
AMC's "Walking Dead" franchise has "decades and decades" of staying power if the concept is managed adroitly, Josh Sapan, the organization's CEO, said, noting that the original series has spawned two spin-offs and a potential theatrical film. Sapan also touted how AMC's ability to control its content has positioned the company to sell original shows to third-party distributors and steer them toward the company's own subscription-video-on-demand outlets.
Jessica Huhn offers comprehensive advice on how business-to-business marketers can boost their lead generation efforts, including best practices for designing lead capture forms and landing pages. She provides tips on how to encourage prospects to visit landing pages, such as enticing them with valuable free research and offering them other content of value such as whitepapers and ebooks, and explains how to build trust through customer testimonials and a quality website.
Joan and m ss ng p eces have created a campaign for the Potential Energy Coalition to mark Global Climate Strike, Sept. 20-27, that features Robby Stratton, aka the "Florida Man," who became a viral sensation in 2018 for taking a live alligator to the store during a beer run and subsequently going to jail. A digital spot pitches Stratton as an "endangered species" because 1.3 million houses in his home state are at risk of flooding, and urges viewers to join the Climate Strike and "Save Florida Man."
Fancy's new campaign for the "It's On Us" initiative, launched five years ago by the Obama administration, features powerful public service announcements showing college students telling their very personal stories about sexual assault. "Witnessing the courage these young people showed in telling their stories and opening their own wounds so that others won't be hurt resonated with truth and hope and literally brought us all to tears on set -- a rare moment in an advertising lifetime," says Fancy's Erica Fite.
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